Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Kokua Line
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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, October 5, 1999


Veterans monument
not forgotten

Question: What is happening with the World War II monument in front of the old Territorial Office building? The names of deceased veterans are hard to read.

Answer: The 55-year-old wood-and-stucco monument honoring Hawaii residents who were killed in World War II is undergoing a much-needed face lift.

Because it was made of wood, it has suffered significant damage from termites and wood rot, said Walter Ozawa, director of the state Office of Veterans Services.

Most of the repair work has been completed, including replicating the wooden "insignia" that had adorned four sides of the 18-foot-high column, Ozawa said. Artist Jan-Michelle Sawyer of Manoa was hired to replicate the eagles, shields, olive branches, etc. in a plaster-like material that won't rust or rot, he said.

The state Department of Accounting and General Services is in charge of the project, but Ozawa's office is involved as sort of the "conscience," he said.

The project is taking longer than expected because the names and inscription have to be recarved. The column will remain wood, Ozawa said.

Officials also are considering landscaping and adding a new water line, "so our volunteers can wash (the monument) down periodically," he said.

Ozawa said the original monument was built with private donations for $55,000-$60,000; the renovation is costing less than $25,000.

Inscribed on the monument, in addition to the names of about 800 people, are these words: "In honor of all Americans of Hawaii who died in this World War that the beauty and freedom of our land might be preserved for all humanity."

Because the monument was erected before World War II ended, not all the names of the people killed during that war are listed. However, no new names will be added, Ozawa said.

The work, which started about two months ago, is expected to be completed by the end of October.

Q: There's a crack in the road (Kamehameha Highway), across from the Catholic church at Waimea Bay, where they replaced a pipe. It's a gap about 12 inches by 3 inches and 5 inches deep. Every time you go across it, you can knock your car out of alignment. I've called state and city agencies; sometimes they say it's the city's problem and sometimes they say it's the state's responsibility. But nothing is ever done. Can you help?

A: That area falls under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Transportation.

An old water line trench was dug there more than four years ago and has been settling, a DOT maintenance official said. However, he said workers did not find a big and deep crack such as the one you described when they checked the area recently, he said.

Nonetheless, he said a paving crew repaired the area on Sept. 29.

Mahalo

To James Kupuka for his kind assistance. On Wednesday, Sept. 15, my car stalled in the Kmart parking lot because of a deficient battery. Not knowing what to do, I felt a little panicky. Just then, Mr. Kupuka parked in front of my car and offered to push my vehicle to start it. Then I remembered I had jumper cables in my car but didn't know how to use them. Mr. Kupuka connected the cables and started my car. He refused to take any monetary offer. Thanks to him, my stress level came back to normal. -- Florence K.





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fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
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